Baltic Sea Summer School (BSSS)
Rostock, Deutschland
18. – 24. August 2019

In my first years of residency in neurology, I grew an interest in epileptology that gradually evolved into a source of fascination and scientific inspiration for me. The willingness to deepen and consolidate my theoretical and technical skills in the field motivated me to apply for the 13th Baltic Summer School on Epilepsy, which I found out about in the ILAE website.

During that memorable week in Rostock we were guided throughout the fascinating history of epileptology, from the rigorous analysis of articles on fundamental discoveries, to the presentation of the most up-to-date experimental studies in the field. The schedule was intense but well-structured, filled up with fascinating lectures and practical seminars. We were divided into small groups, which promoted constructive discussions and direct participation in the educational procedure. We attended high-quality lectures by experts in the field of clinical epileptology and EEG, who transmitted us the value of  evidence-based reasoning and creative scientific thinking. They were always open for discussion, encouraging and supportive.

Apart from updating us with current knowledge covering all aspects of epilepsy, this school taught us how to transform ourselves into the inspirators of genuine scientific hypothesis and study them by developing research plans. This was a totally new era for me, both fascinating and challenging .The section of research in school projects gave birth to numerous intriguing projects, hopefully laying the bases for a possible cooperation among participants in the near future. One of the most important things I have gained through my participation in BSSSE 13 is the acquaintance with fellow young epileptologists, all brilliant scientists and amazing people. We came together to share experiences on the common grounds of epileptology, but we also had the opportunity to learn from each other’s personal and cultural differences.

I would like to take this opportunity and express my sincere appreciation to Professor Dr. Peter Wolf, with whom we shared passionate scientific discussions and who kept on encouraging us to look beyond and explore new ideas. I was impressed and inspired by his passion and dedication, both as a scientist and as a teacher. This week in Rostock was undoubtedly busy and required hard work and dedication, both from the part of the tutors and the participants. However, the organizing team of the BSSSE 13 were very willing to help us throughout the courses, discuss upon any inquiries and created a friendly and pleasant atmosphere for the whole group.

After completing this course I feel much more confident in managing patients with epilepsy and reading EEG. My participation in BSSSE 13 has been a stimulating experience and contributed to my personal growth as a scientist and as a person. Therefore, I want to thank the BSSSE 13 organizing committee for granting me with this valuable educational opportunity and express my strong support for such events that promote scientific growth and culture.

I will not hesitate to apply again in the future and urge my colleagues to do so as well!

Simela Chatzikonstantinou, Neurology Resident, Greece